Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is offering his non-playing staff a share of a £1million bonus if they beat Arsenal in this afternoon’s match.
Ashley is reported to be a Spurs fan, and a Newcastle win would secure Champions League football for Andre Villas Boas’ side providing they are able to beat Sunderland in today’s other North London/North East clash. He reportedly landed at the club’s training ground in his helicopter to announce his offer on Friday.
But even if Ashley does support Spurs, his offer of the money – to be shared by everyone from the tea lady to the coaching staff, but not the players – is based purely on finances and not on sentiment.
A surprise Magpies win could catapult them as high as 10th in the table. That would mean £5million extra in the club’s coffers in prize money, so Ashley’s offer is really an investment in securing that.
Nonetheless, the bonus will offer some hope to Spurs fans upset by Alan Pardew’s suggestions that he wouldn’t mind losing 4-0 to the Gunners having already avoided relegation.